I am Human

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I am the wind, storming through,
I am the tree, badly shaken.
I am the sky, clear and hopeful,
I am the clouds, grey and obtuse.
But the tree, it doesn’t break,
And the clouds, they dissipate.
I am the background, I am listening,
I am the foreground, I am acting.
I am the mountain, I am brooding,
I am the forest bed, I am inviting.
I am the wild animals, I am starving,
I am the Earth’s wild green, I am providing.
I am trying hard to be everything,
As I harbor the fear that I am nothing.
I am the world, and I am broken,
I am the world, and I am healing.
I am the cosmos, running on love,
I am a person, and I am learning.

– Tammy Takahashi

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Your Small Gestures Matter

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Sometimes I think that if we had even
the smallest notion in our wily minds
that keep spinning the same old stories
for us day after day, year after year,
of how many other ways it can always be,
we would immediately look for this door.
We would stop thinking we have to make
the greatest journeys and grand gestures
to make the profound changes we seek.
Have you ever tried to smile through tears?
It feels at first like an alien invasion, strange,
unwanted, until the body responds in kind,
ignites from deep within, bearing lightness.
The smallest hand gesture, brilliantly new,
and suddenly we are carrying ourselves
as a different person, with a purpose,
perhaps, we didn’t know had been calling.
Have you ever seen cherry blossoms bloom?
Without ever leaving its one sacred place
In the world of cycles, seasons and Time,
it does the only thing it knows how to do,
but does it with all the effort of its being,
which is not effort at all, but fulfillment,
and for the briefest moment in our history,
because every single blossom did the same,
we have a tree that moments ago was bare,
and is now grander than any work of art,
and the blossoms have not arrived to stay,
but to live out their short symphony with grace,
and leave the tree stronger for their presence,
and leave a world that will never be the same.
 
– Tammy Takahashi

To Grieve, To Love, To Leave, To Stay

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The feeling that comes with a loss,
that this hole, this gaping absence
swallows, too, all that still remains,
so that the fragile balance whispers
its soulful last, before trailing away …
and what then, is the work of recovery,
when you feel now, between worlds,
pieces of you bound to the departed,
where in the moment you’d rather be,
with its borders dissolved in the dark,
like you have entered your own dreams,
which no longer end, which relieves you.
But then, you sigh, or gasp, or choke,
and you are brought back to your body,
battered and fragile, broken in places,
but here, where you’ve always breathed,
where love first came to dance with you.
Here, from where the glory feelings arise,
here, from where all that you love leaves.
Bound to yourself, to your shaky breath
where all the promises can be fulfilled,
where, one staggered breath at at a time,
you can fill your body with everything
that exists around you, you can choose
what and how to be here, while you are.
To hold the departed in dear embrace
rather than to take a too-early flight.
To feel it all, here, now, in this, our life.
 
– Tammy Takahashi

I am the River

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There is no river

I’ve never seen

As the water moving,

Sometimes still

And sometimes restless,

Through the vessel

Of my own body,

Crashing against

The turbulent,

Mountainous mass

Of my heart

That is never still,

Even as it plants

In the center of my being,

Roots ancient and wise,

Ready to bear

The tides of cries

Of thousands of years

As they come, now,

To sublimate

In this very moment,

But I am ready;

This is what I’ve been

Preparing for.

I am the river;

I am the rock.

I am the emotions

Of all these centuries;

I am the one

Witnessing them,

Loving, letting go.

The river becomes

The ocean that meets

The fabled horizon.

We see in ourselves

Not what we were,

Not what we will be,

But our perfect selves,

Already here,

And we could never be

Anything, anywhere else.